NORMAN — After a brief delay, state school board members sent public schools home with their grade cards Thursday. The outcome was predictable, according to many superintendents.
Of more than 1,700 schools rated, there were 160 A grades and nine F grades. Eight of the F grades were delivered to Tulsa schools. Statewide, 1 percent of the schools received an F, 8 percent a D, 34 percent a C, 48 percent B and 9 percent A.
Norman schools received 6 As, 9 Bs and 7 Cs. Both high schools received A grades as well as three elementary schools and one middle school. For Cleveland County, no school scored below a C.
School superintendents opposed the release, insisting that the formula did not take into account academic progress made by students. It merely assigned a simple grade to a complex set of numbers. State superintendent Janet Barresi called the release of the grades “a new era of accountability” for Oklahoma.
Now what. Dr. Barresi says she will begin visiting schools with relatively low grades to ask what is being done to improve. She has started the “Raise the Grade Initiative” where community leaders, parents and educators will address the needs of low-scoring schools.
We hope she includes superintendents in that initiative. The division between the state department of education and local school superintendents and board members doesn’t appear to be very productive for students.